Amnon rapes Tamar
1Some time later, David’s son Amnon fell in love with Tamar the beautiful sister of Absalom, who was also David’s son. 2Amnon was so upset over his half sister that he made himself sick. She was a virgin, and it seemed impossible in Amnon’s view to do anything to her. 3But Amnon had a very clever friend named Jonadab, who was David's brother Shimeah’s son.
4“Prince,” Jonadab said to him, “why are you so down, morning after morning? Tell me about it.”
So Amnon told him, “I’m in love with Tamar, the sister of my brother Absalom.”
5“Lie down on your bed and pretend to be sick,” Jonadab said to him. “When your father comes to see you, tell him, ‘Please let my sister Tamar come and give me some food to eat. Let her prepare the food in my sight so I can watch and eat from her own hand.’”
6So Amnon lay down and pretended to be sick. The king came to see him, and Amnon told the king, “Please let my sister Tamar come and make a couple of heart-shaped cakes in front of me so I can eat from her hand.”
7David sent word to Tamar at the palace: “Please go to your brother Amnon’s house and prepare some food for him.”
8So Tamar went to her brother Amnon’s house where he was lying down. She took dough, kneaded it, made heart-shaped cakes in front of him, and then cooked them. 9She took the pan and served Amnon, but he refused to eat.
“Everyone leave me,” Amnon said. So everyone left him. 10Then Amnon said to Tamar, “Bring the food into the bedroom so I can eat from your hand.” So Tamar took the heart-shaped cakes she had made and brought them to her brother Amnon in the bedroom. 11When she served him the food, he grabbed her and said, “Come have sex with me, my sister.”
12But she said to him, “No, my brother! Don’t rape me. Such a thing shouldn’t be done in Israel. Don’t do this horrible thing. 13Think about me—where could I hide my shame? And you—you would become like some fool in Israel! Please, just talk to the king! He won’t keep me from marrying you.”
14But Amnon refused to listen to her. He was stronger than she was, and so he raped her.
15But then Amnon felt intense hatred for her. In fact, his hatred for her was greater than the love he had felt for her. So Amnon told her, “Get out of here!”
16“No, my brother!”#13.16 Correction; Heb uncertain; cf LXX, Vulg she said. “Sending me away would be worse than the wrong you’ve already done.”
But Amnon wouldn’t listen to her. 17He summoned his young servant and said, “Get this woman out of my presence and lock the door after her.” (18She was wearing a long-sleeved robe because that was what the virgin princesses wore as garments.)#13.18 Heb uncertain So Amnon’s servant put her out and locked the door after her.
19Tamar put ashes on her head and tore the long-sleeved robe she was wearing. She put her hand on her head and walked away, crying as she went.
20Her brother Absalom said to her, “Has your brother Amnon been with you? Keep quiet about it for now, sister; he’s your brother. Don’t let it bother you.” So Tamar, a broken woman, lived in her brother Absalom’s house.
21When King David heard about all this he got very angry, but he refused to punish his son Amnon because he loved him as his oldest child.#13.21 LXX, DSS(4QSama); MT lacks but he refused… oldest child. 22Absalom never spoke to Amnon, good word or bad, because he hated him for raping his sister Tamar.
Absalom kills Amnon
23Two years later, Absalom was shearing sheep at Baal-hazor near Ephraim, and he invited all the king’s sons. 24Absalom approached the king and said, “Your servant is shearing sheep. Would the king and his advisors please join me?”
25But the king said to Absalom, “No, my son. We shouldn’t all go, or we would be a burden on you.” Although Absalom urged him, the king wasn’t willing to go, although he gave Absalom a blessing.
26Then Absalom said, “If you won’t come, then let my brother Amnon go with us.”
“Why should he go with you?” they asked him. 27But Absalom urged him until he sent Amnon and all the other princes. Then Absalom made a banquet fit for a king.#13.27 LXX; MT lacks Then Absalom… king.
28Absalom commanded his servants, “Be on the lookout! When Amnon is happy with wine and I tell you to strike Amnon down, then kill him! Don’t be afraid, because I myself am giving you the order. Be brave and strong men.” 29So Absalom’s servants did to Amnon just what he had commanded. Then all the princes got up, jumped onto their mules, and fled.
30While they were on the way, the report came to David: “Absalom has killed all of the princes! Not one remains.” 31The king got up, tore his garments, and lay on the ground. All his servants stood near him, their garments torn as well. 32But Jonadab, the son of David’s brother Shimeah, said, “My master shouldn’t think that all the young princes have been killed—only Amnon is dead. This has been Absalom’s plan ever since the day Amnon raped his sister Tamar. 33So don’t let this bother you, my master; don’t think that all the princes are dead, because only Amnon is dead, 34and Absalom has fled.” Just then the young man on watch looked up and saw many people coming on the road behind him alongside the mountain. 35Jonadab told the king, “Look, the princes are coming, just as I, your servant, said they would.”
36When Jonadab finished speaking, the princes arrived. They broke into loud crying, and the king and his servants cried hard as well.
37Meanwhile, Absalom had fled and gone to Geshur’s King Talmai, Ammihud’s son. David mourned for his son a long time. 38But Absalom, after fleeing to Geshur, stayed there for three years. 39Then the king’s desire to go out after Absalom faded away because he had gotten over Amnon’s death.#13.39 DSS(4QSama), LXX; Heb uncertain